Saturday, 18 April 2009
"Ten Things to Get Rid of From Your Kitchen," I noticed, along with everyone else, that no explanations were given for each item, and I was confused at what I saw. So, I've decided to do some research and find out why each item was on the negative list.
Cutting back on salt lowers blood pressure and the risk of heart problems. Too much sodium in your diet can lead to health problems, but using a little and not overdoing salty snack foods is a fine way to stay healthy and safely enjoy salt.
2. Artificial Sweeteners
Now, I wrote an article in the past promoting the use of artificial sweeteners, so this comes as a surprise to me. With artificial sweeteners, however, there is the risk of an allergy that wouldn't come up with sugar. Rumors that artificial sweeteners cause cancer have been squashed by the National Cancer Institute of America who state, "Results from subsequent carcinogenicity studies (studies that examine whether a substance can cause cancer) on these sweeteners and other approved sweeteners have not provided clear evidence of an association between artificial sweeteners and cancer in people."
Margarine contains just as many fat and calories as its equivalent serving in butter. The benefit of margarine is that there is no cholesterol since it is not naturally from an animal like butter. Margarine, however, has trans fats while butter does not. Trans fats are worse for you than the saturated fats found in butter. While margarine doesn't contain cholesterol itself, the trans fats will actually raise the bad kind of cholesterol (LDL) in your body and will lower the good kind (HDL).
4. Vegetable Oil
Vegetable oil sold in supermarkets have gone through chemical and heat processing that lower the quality of the oil and downsize any healthy qualities of the oil. Many brands are refined and distilled which exposed them to light and air and the possibility of pesticide.
5. Soy Milk
As a regular soy milk drinker, this one was hard to believe, but here's what I found. One problem of soy milk is that it lacks in calcium, BUT many brands are calcium fortified, so that isn't an issue. Some soy milk is thickened with an element from seaweed, which can cause digestive problems in some people. There is fear that too much soy in your diet can cause reproductive problems, meaning infertility, but there's not enough evidence or research done yet to prove this true.
6. Salad Dressing and Mayo
This really depends on the salad dressing. Using a cream-based dressing like ranch or thousand island is going to have a lot more fat than if you drizzle on oil and vinegar. Replacing fatty salad dressings with leaner ones (try regular Italian dressing instead of creamy Italian) is a good way to be healthier, or just try to use less. Dieting is all about moderation. Mayo is notoriously bad; there's no such thing as a totally healthy mayonnaise. It is made of vegetable oil and egg yolk, which will definitely effect cholesterol.
7. Pasteurized Juice
The act of pasteurization (killing chemicals like salmonella, listeria, and brucella that could harm the eater) damages vitamins and nutrients in juice and can change the fruit's flavors. It is less healthy than natural juice, but isn't "bad" for you. You're just getting less bang for your healthy buck.
8. Sauces and Seasoning
Like dressings, the health benefits waver between kinds. A strictly tomato sauce is going to have less fat than a heavy vodka or Alfredo sauce. Unfortunately, I haven't come up with anything about spices being bad. If anyone knows, please share!
9. Processed Meats
The problem with processed meat is that more than one animal can go into the making of certain things like hot dogs, and even those that say "All Beef" don't specify what part of the body the meat is coming from. They are made from the parts you wouldn't necessarily cook on a grill, and often include a lot of the fat from the animal. Also, a diet of hot dogs and bologna will increase your risk of diabetes. The bottom line of processed meat is that you can't be sure of what you're eating, and the fat content isn't worth the daily bologna sandwich.
10. The Whites
Starch in general is a filler with little health benefits, but white bread can barely be called bread. White bread is made from wheat flour with the wheat germ and bran removed, which are the parts that give bread it's nutritional value. I found this blurb about white bread on greenlivingtips.com,
"Once the bran and germ is removed, the flour is bleached using potassium bromate, benzoyl peroxide or chlorine dioxide gas. Potassium bromate is also known as Bromic Acid or Potassium Salt. It's an oxidizing agent, can be fatal if swallowed, is harmful if inhaled or absorbed through the skin and may also cause kidney damage. Benzoyl peroxide is another irritant that can kill animals, birds, or fish, and cause death or low growth rate in plants. Chlorine Dioxide is also a pesticide and even though it breaks down very quickly, it is ranked in the USA as one of the compounds most hazardous to the environment."
Now that the negative information has been presented, would you consider removing these products from your kitchen?